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Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

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Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

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Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Lemon dream

"This cake is the new religion at Flour and Stone, and never fails to send those worshipping it into a dream of billowy clouds," says Ingram. "It has come to many parties, including one where its name was changed to reflect the euphoric place it transports you to."

Tuna carpaccio “la zingara”


You'll need

400 gm piece of sashimi-grade tuna loin 1 Roma tomato, finely diced ½ Lebanese cucumber, finely diced 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 avocado, coarsely chopped Juice of 1 lime For brushing: olive oil To serve: vincotto 1 tsp finely grated bottarga, optional, to serve (see note) To serve: sesame seeds and baby basil   Spice mix 2 star anise 1¼ tsp black peppercorns 1 tsp cardamom pods ½ tsp coriander seeds ¼ tsp fennel seeds   Green chilli paste 1 tbsp coriander seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 cup (firmly packed) each baby spinach leaves and flat-leaf parsley 50 ml lemon-infused olive oil 2 long green chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • For spice mix, combine ingredients in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and finely crush, then set aside.
  • 02
  • For green chilli paste, dry-roast coriander seeds and cumin seeds until fragrant (30 seconds-1 minute), process with remaining ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Paste will keep refrigerated for 5 days in an airtight container.
  • 03
  • Trim tuna to a 5cm square (reserve trimmings) and refrigerate until required. Finely dice trimmings and combine in a bowl with tomato and cucumber, add chilli paste to taste, season to taste, then refrigerate until required.
  • 04
  • Roll tuna loin in spice mix, pressing to coat. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan over high heat, then sear tuna (10-20 seconds each side). Remove from heat, cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, process avocado and lime juice in a food processor until smooth, season to taste and refrigerate until required.
  • 06
  • Divide avocado purée among plates. Thinly slice tuna, brush with olive oil, season to taste. Arrange tuna on avocado, overlapping slices slightly and placing a little tuna mixture between slices. Drizzle with vincotto to taste, scatter with bottarga, sesame seeds and basil and serve.
Note Bottarga is available from select delicatessens and fish mongers.

This recipe is from the December 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“I celebrated my birthday at Melbourne’s Mezzo Bar & Grill and the tuna carpaccio was special. Would chef Joseph Vargetto share the recipe?”
Aimee Glenn, St Kilda, Vic

Request a recipe
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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